Badul’s assets seized

2010-08-12 00:00

FORMER Mountain Rise station commissioner Hariram Badul could lose part, if not all, of his R2,3 million pension as well as his R1,2 million Mountain Rise home to the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) if he is convicted of the long list of theft, fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering charges he faces with his co-accused.

This was the news delivered to him when members of the AFU knocked at his door in Coronet Place without warning early yesterday morning to seize his assets.

The AFU swooped on Badul and his wife, Monica, and four of his co-accused in the pending trial. They were served with a recently obtained high court order restraining them from disposing of their “realisable assets”, including their houses and cars, which in some cases are owned jointly by the couples in community of property.

The affected parties are former police captain Suresh Naraindath and his wife Shashika; ex-police superintendent Yunus Khan and his wife Koreena; general labourer Bhekuyise Patrick Nkabini, who worked for the SA Police Service; and local businessman Sigamoney Pillay and his wife Rose.

Subject to court restraint — apart from Badul’s home and pension benefits — are Naraindath’s house in Orient Heights valued at R410 000 and a Toyota Hilux bakkie worth R150 000; Yunus Khan’s Allandale home valued at R730 000 and an Opel Corsa car valued at R60  000; Nkabini’s Toyota 1,6 Toyota Corolla worth R80 000, and three vehicles belonging to Pillay — a Toyota Hilux Raider (R80 000); a home-built flat-deck trailer (R15 000) and a Toyota Hilux bakkie (R50 000).

The net market value of the assets placed under the control of a court appointed curator is more than the R860 675,44 the state currently alleges the accused derived from their illegal activities.

But according to court papers, the seizures are justified as there are several other investigations in the pipeline in which Badul is said to be a “major roleplayer” and for which “prosecutions are imminent”.

These are said to involve alleged criminal activities involving around R1 043 000.

Investigating officer Colonel Sundrakasavan Naidoo revealed in an affidavit that the inquiries involve more allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering.

They relate to the ongoing inquiry into the manipulation of crime statistics at Mountain Rise police station to create a “misrepresentation” that the crime rate had decreased in that area.

Mountain Rise police station was presented with an award for the “best performing” station in KZN aand all its members received bonuses, resulting in a loss of R627 000 to the SAPS, he said.

There is also a charge that fraudulent informers’ fee claims to a value of R416 000 were found to have been submitted to the SAPS, and a third inquiry relates to fraudulent claims submitted to the SAPS for daily maintenance work ostensibly carried out at the police station, but which was in fact carried out at the premises of Badul or Khan or their associates.

On occasions, it is alleged, the cash was used to provide Badul with items such as alcohol or meat. These losses have not yet been quantified, said Naidoo.

Naidoo said it was also discovered that firearm licences were fraudulently issued by Mountain Rise police station to individuals “who would not ordinarily qualify for a licence” without proper SAPS procedures being followed.

“These individuals would pay an exorbitant fee for a fraudulent licence and the subjects of the investigation would receive a kickback in return for issuing the said licence,” explained Naidoo.

He said it was also established that non-SAPS agents were being used to process firearm applications.

Summarising the current charges facing the five accused, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in the office of the NDPP, Motlalekhotso Knorx Molelle said investigations revealed the accused had colluded to defraud the SAPS:

• by submitting fictitious invoices to the SAPS for goods allegedly bought for the use of the Mountain Rise police station, when in fact the goods were never supplied to the station and the cash was stolen;

• by claiming from the SAPS for services that were not actually rendered by various suppliers;

• by procuring goods on behalf of Mountain Rise police station which were delivered to Badul’s home or farm for his personal use;

• by submitting false claims for payment of overtime.

It is alleged that in order to account for goods taken by Badul for his personal use, the items were falsely noted as being ”unserviceable” and were thereafter “sold” by auction.

The date of the trial — which will be heard in the high court — will be announced on August 20. The state’s indictment details 128 charges.

AS the former station commissioner of Mountain Rise SAPS, Badul was the “primary decision maker and planner” of a criminal enterprise formed by individuals for the purposes of obtaining money or other benefits by committing fraud, theft or money laundering, the state alleges in its indictment.

Badul is charged with “managing the operation or activities of an enterprise conducted through a pattern of racketeering activities”, and all the accused are charged with conducting or participating in the conduct of that enterprise.

The 60-plus page indictment which forms part of the AFU’s court application alleges that all the offences that form the basis of the charges were committed at Badul’s behest, except for two counts of corruption.

 

AFU investigator Samson Schalkwyk said Badul is currently owed about R2 340 484 in pension benefits.

The General Pensions Act of 1979 provides that in cases where the government or a provincial department suffers a loss through theft, fraud, negligence or misconduct, the loss can be deducted from a person’s pension benefits.

Schalkwyk said that because Badul faces the charges he does, the SA Police Force will be entitled to deduct any loss it suffered from his pension.

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